Press Release

The 4th Annual “Tarnished Halo” Awards

Washington, DC – The Grammys, Golden Globes, and Oscars may be over, but the curtain hasn’t quite closed on this year’s awards season. The Center for Consumer Freedom has announced the winners of the 4th Annual “Tarnished Halo” awards. The prizes are given annually to America’s most notorious animal-rights zealots, celebrity busybodies, environmental scaremongers, self-appointed “public interest” advocates, trial lawyers, and other food activists who claim to “know what’s best for you.”

Though the “Tarnished Halo” doesn’t feature a red carpet ceremony, it does shine the spotlight on plenty of celebrities. Al Sharpton, Pamela Anderson, and Sarah Jane along with such “dietary crusaders” as John Banzhaf and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) all received the award. So too did New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, the Texas Department of Agriculture, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recipients of the “Tarnished Halo” join the already long lineup of food scolds and dietary puritans. Click here to view the entire slate of winners.

The “Reverend Rooster” Category
Awarded to Al Sharpton, the publicity-seeking preacher, for joining PETA to crow at KFC restaurants and attempting to instigate a boycott from the African American community. It’s odd that Sharpton would stand side-by-side with PETA, which advocates a complete end to chicken consumption. When the reverend emerged from prison in 2001 after a four-week hunger strike, he didn’t ask for tofu and lentils. He told a crowd of well-wishers: “I’m going to walk through Harlem just to settle in again, then I’m going to Amy Ruth’s for some fried chicken.” That restaurant’s menu carries a dish named after Sharpton—it’s chicken and waffles.

The “Will Sue Your Mom for Publicity” Category
Awarded to George Washington University professor John “Sue the Bastards” Banzhaf for threatening to sue doctors of overweight patients and parents of overweight children. Of course, that’s in addition to his supporting role in a billion-dollar fishing expedition to sue food companies for making people fat.

The “Spurious Spurlock” Category
Awarded to Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock, who got his start as host of the TV show I Bet You Will. With cameras rolling, Spurlock paid a man to gulp down an entire 24-ounce jar of mayonnaise. He paid a woman to shave her head, combine the hair with butter to form a giant hairball, and then eat it. Internet voyeurs could also see one guy chew on a piece of dog feces for Spurlock’s ready cash. Not surprisingly, the show featured an “Official Puke Bucket.” Incredibly, Spurlock said of Super Size Me that: “[People] need to start thinking about what they’re shoveling into their mouths.”

The “Wrong Turn on Logic Lane” Category
Awarded to buxom beauty Pamela Anderson for her hypocritical criticism of NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Anderson attacked Earnhardt for his relationship with KFC, insisting he had to “take some responsibility for the company’s practices.” But Anderson is a vocal supporter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which wants to end the very medical research Anderson champions as a cure for her own disease, hepatitis C.

The “Porn Identity” Category
Awarded to the wingnuts at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) for their unnerving obsession with adult entertainment. With virtually millions of analogies in existence, these food prudes regularly equate America’s favorite foods with pornography, even going so far as to dedicate the back cover of their monthly newsletter to complaining about “food porn.” This year they called Hardee’s new Monster Thickburger a “snuff film.”

The “Cereal Killer” Category
Awarded to New York University professor Marion Nestle for insisting that 19-year-old college students aren’t smart enough to pick their own breakfast cereal. She stated: “It’s asking far too much of late adolescents to exercise that kind of choice.”

The “Wrong Casting Call” Category
Awarded to supermodel Sarah Jane, the world’s “most-downloaded woman,” for lending her image to PETA. While the activist group advocates an extreme vegetarian diet, Jane lists raw meat and lamb kidney among her favorite foods.

The “Pants on Fire” Category
Awarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for being forced to admit that their much-publicized claim that obesity kills 400,000 Americans every year was wildly exaggerated. A recently completed internal investigation has revealed that the CDC ran roughshod over its own scientists to support the phony number and then covered up the mistake. One skeptical CDC researcher even told Science magazine he feared that speaking out would cost him his job.

The “Breath Lock or Brain Lock?” Category
Awarded to New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, who wants to put expensive, intrusive, (and ineffective) onboard alcohol breathalyzers in every car. If he gets his way, every New York resident would be guilty until proven innocent every time we get behind the wheel. And if Ortiz’s costly plan went into effect, the cost would reach $16 billion in the first year alone. That’s larger than the 2005 budget of either the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, or the Treasury Department.

The “Culinary Cruella DeVille” Category
Awarded to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs, for anointing herself the “Food Czarina.” While this owner of a tarnished tiara finally bowed to common sense and let cupcakes back into Texas schools on special occasions, her edicts still forbid kids from sharing snacks such as gummy bears brought from home.

Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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